Harare, Zimbabwe – Video evidence of Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice-Chairperson Job Sikhala allegedly inciting public violence was played in court yesterday, as his trial continues in Harare Magistrates Court. Sikhala, who is being represented by human rights lawyers Jeremiah Bhamu and Harrison Nkomo, denies the offense.
According to police officer Edmore Runganga, who testified as the third witness in the trial, all the evidence of Sikhala’s alleged offense was captured in the video recording. The State, represented by Tendai Shonhai, asked the court for permission to play the video as evidence. Nkomo, however, objected to the request, claiming that the video could have been doctored and should be inspected before being played in court.
Magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro allayed Nkomo’s concerns and allowed the video to be played, asking the State to show the court where there is evidence they wanted to use, instead of showing the whole 77-minute long video clip. The matter was postponed to today to allow the State to provide evidence on the portion of the video that they alleged an offense was committed.
Sikhala is also facing charges of obstructing the course of justice and inciting violence in Nyatsime, and has been in remand prison for almost seven months.
As Sikhala’s trial continues to unfold, it is being closely watched by human rights groups and political observers as the outcome is expected to have significant implications for political freedom and human rights in Zimbabwe.